Changing the IT Leader's Mindset

Changing the IT Leader's Mindset: Time for revolution rather than evolution

ROBINA CHATHAM
BRIAN SUTTON
Copyright Date: 2010
Published by: IT Governance Publishing
Pages: 169
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt5hh58n
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  • Book Info
    Changing the IT Leader's Mindset
    Book Description:

    All those who work in and with IT will benefit from reading this book. You will better understand your own reactions to change and those of colleagues, customers, and suppliers. You will be able to explain more confidently why a one-size-fits-all change management plan doesn’t work and how to make it more flexible. You will also understand more clearly why there is always a productivity drop when a change is introduced, and how to help people move up the learning curve more quickly.

    eISBN: 978-1-84928-066-2
    Subjects: Technology, Management & Organizational Behavior

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. FOREWORD
    (pp. 5-5)
    Cathy Holly

    This book is a real breath of fresh air!

    As leadership has gradually overtaken technical expertise as the barometer of an outstanding head of IT, I have read every book out there on the subject. None has provided such a useful and pertinent guide to perfecting leadership and interpersonal skills.

    Changing the IT Leader’s Mindsetis engaging, clear and packed with practical advice. Reading this book will get you thinking about how you influence people and unite them in common purpose to deliver a strategic vision.

    For those of you who wish to take a seat at the Boardroom as...

  3. PREFACE
    (pp. 6-7)
    Robina Chatham and Brian Sutton
  4. ABOUT THE AUTHORS
    (pp. 8-9)
  5. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
    (pp. 9-9)
  6. Table of Contents
    (pp. 10-12)
  7. Part I Where We Are Now and Why We See the World the Way We Do
    • CHAPTER 1: SURVIVING IN A WORLD OF CHANGE
      (pp. 14-32)

      In 1859, Charles Dickens began hisTale of Two Citieswith the words: ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness’.

      He could have been writing about the plight of IT leaders – they, too, face an uncertain future and have little in the way of tradition or track record to fall back on. In their short history, IT leaders have enjoyed many titles; recently there has been a trend towards the epithet ‘chief information officer’ (CIO) – as recently as the 1980s this...

    • CHAPTER 2: THE IT STEREOTYPE AND ITS IMPLICATIONS
      (pp. 33-42)

      Ask any business person not associated with the IT profession to describe their IT colleagues and images ofThe IT Crowdusually spring to mind, along with labels such as ‘nerd’, ‘geek’, ‘propeller head’, etc. IT professionals push back and are frequently heard bleating ‘I’m not like that’ or ‘it’s not fair’. Why do we have these perceptions? More importantly, what is the impact on the credibility of IT functions and their ability to realise business benefits?

      The first of these questions is quite easy to answer: it’s no one’s fault, but merely a consequence of human nature and our...

    • CHAPTER 3: THE ILLUSION OF A SOLUTION
      (pp. 43-50)

      The first step in arriving at a solution is to recognise and accept the problem. The majority of IT functions are well aware that they have a problem; however, they are not very good at understanding the root cause of that problem. When looking at the relationship between IT and the business it serves, the problem is commonly expressed as a feeling of discomfort: the business does not perceive it is getting value for money in terms of its IT investment, but can’t articulate the nature of this discomfort. Once this has been recognised, IT departments normally act in one...

    • CHAPTER 4: INSIGHTS FROM EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY
      (pp. 51-60)

      Evolutionary psychologists contend that although the world has changed, human beings have not. Indeed you might say that ‘you can take “man” out of the Stone Age but that you can’t take the Stone Age out of “man”’. In other words, we are hardwired to behave instinctively; we still posses those traits that made survival possible when we inhabited the savannah some 200,000 years ago.

      For most of our history asHomo sapienswe have survived and reproduced as clan-living hunter-gatherers. It was only 10,000 years ago with the introduction of agriculture that our world radically changed. Suddenly communities accumulated...

    • CHAPTER 5: NEW MODELS OF LEADERSHIP – THE ROUTE TO BECOMING A TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADER
      (pp. 61-68)

      The Transformational Leader must work in the space between the present and the future. They should not ask, ‘what can we do?’ but rather ‘what is it possible to achieve in this situation?’. When we ask, ‘what can we do?’, we are artificially limiting ourselves by viewing the situation through our own lens, a lens that is shaped by our own experience and can only imagine outcomes that are consistent with that experience. When we ask, ‘what is it possible to achieve in this situation?’, we accept the fact that others with a fundamentally different experience or structure might imagine,...

  8. Part II Building Transformational Competencies
    • CHAPTER 6: RELEASING THE POWER OF THE MANY
      (pp. 70-97)

      The modern leader is often faced with too many things to achieve and too few resources to achieve them. In such circumstances, the key challenge is: how do we increase the bang for the buck? What can the leader do to ensure that where it matters most we get the maximum impact from the resources we deploy?

      The Transactional Leader may approach this problem through a combination of focus and control, limiting the scope of the activities through unambiguous specifications, backed up by tight work packages and structured individual objectives. Progress against predetermined targets would be rigorously monitored and achievement...

    • CHAPTER 7: CHANGING THE WAY WE THINK AND TALK ABOUT WORK
      (pp. 98-117)

      As leaders, we are expected to get things done. In a working world that is often centred on targets and compliance, the temptation is to fall back on micromanagement techniques, putting our faith in detailed planning and task-focused control. Leaders are also expected to bring about change, do something different and exceed customer expectations. These two views are uncomfortable bedfellows – the skills and techniques that can bring about the former often stifle the later. We believe that the successful leader of change must have an unrelenting focus on outcomes that we should constantly strive to deliver real customer benefit...

    • CHAPTER 8: FUTURE-FOCUSED COMMUNICATION
      (pp. 118-136)

      In the last chapter we looked at how we can refocus our efforts on outcomes by ensuring that the language we use is future-focused and outcome-oriented. We saw how the skilful use of questioning is a key leadership tool, and how we can structure conversations to achieve our ends better. In this chapter we will look at ways to help you ensure more effective communication in all its forms.

      Communication is the lifeblood of any organisation. Without effective communication, nerves don’t communicate with musculature, our heart doesn’t know to pump faster during physical exertion, and so on and so forth....

    • CHAPTER 9: DELIVERING LASTING CHANGE
      (pp. 137-155)

      Advances in technology are arguably the greatest single driver for change in our organisations. The nature of this change is very different from previous periods of technology-led change. In the past, the primary driver has been replacing people and labour with technology; now the driver is using technology to connect people in new and dynamic ways. One side effect of this change of emphasis is that the key challenge of change is no longer structural, but rather social and cultural. You cannot be an effective manager of change by focusing solely on the technical aspects of organisational design, process design...

    • CHAPTER 10: TAKING A HOLISTIC VIEW
      (pp. 156-166)

      In this final chapter we offer a very brief summary of the key ideas we have presented in the book.

      Part Iset out the changing nature of our organisations and why we need to adopt the characteristics exhibited by Transformational Leaders. We looked at some findings from evolutionary psychology that provide an insight into why we think and act the way we do. We linked this developing understanding to the theory of personality types using the Myers-Briggs typology.

      Part IIset out steps you can take to become a more effective communicator and leader of change. We looked at...

  9. ITG RESOURCES
    (pp. 167-169)